Do Not inquire about Salary History

On October 12, 2017, Governor Jerry Brown of California signed into law a state-wide ban on employer inquiries
into an individual’s salary history. The new law will apply to all employers, including state and local governments,
and will take effect on January 1, 2018.

The new law continues the expansion of equal pay protection in California.  California’s Equal Pay law has been on
the books since 1949, requiring equal pay, regardless of gender, for equal work.  It remained largely unchanged
until 2016, when it was amended to require equal pay for “substantially similar” work.  In addition, the 2016
revision prohibited employers from using prior salary to justify a current disparity in compensation.
This new law imposes further restrictions and requirements regarding the salary history information of a job

  • No employer may rely on an applicant’s prior salary history “as a factor in determining whether to offer
    employment . . . or what salary to offer an applicant.” Salary history information includes both an
    individual’s rate of compensation as well as other benefits.
  • An employer cannot—orally or in writing, directly or indirectly—seek this type of information about an
    applicant. Accordingly, employers and their agents can no longer ask candidates, or their current or
    former employers, what candidates have earned in the past.
  • An employer must, upon reasonable request, provide an applicant with the pay scale assigned to the
    position sought.

NOTE: This last requirement is an additional reason for development of an adherence to a properly
developed compensation structure, if you need assistance, please contact your YPP manager.

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